Shopping is in my blood. In my family, it was our recreation. I don’t spend nearly as much time shopping as I once did but I still thoroughly enjoy it, even if I don’t plan on buying much. I love taking in the displays, whether it is the sophisticated window dressing of the elegant department stores of NYC, where I live or the beautiful piles of meticulously piled fruits and vegetables in the bazaars, often laid out right on the streets of India where I spend many months of every year. I enjoy watching the negotiation between buyer and seller and all the activity that a marketplace produces. It says so much about a place and its people.
Maybe it is a cheap shot for a photographer with all the stationary subjects but I can’t resist the color and intensity and the surprises.
The fish market is usually situated away from the heart of the market. It has its distinct scent and its cast of whining onlookers, the cats.
The shoppers are always as arresting as the vendors. This woman in her blouse-less sari is breathtaking. She is a disappearing group as their daughters no longer dress this way.
The abundance of South India’s fruit is overwhelming. The vendors are laid back; they don’t push until you are ready to buy. The prices go down toward the end of the day.
Flowers sellers are a daily part of life in South India. Flowers are woven into garlands for religious rituals as well as for hair ornaments. Some, like me, even decorate with them.
As market day comes to an end, everyone returns home with their purchases or their wares. Weary and worn out but hopefully with a bit more cash or some fresh food for dinner. My bag is heavy too with a papaya and a bunch of bananas. If I’m lucky, my veggie seller has avocados, which is a rare treat in India. I wander back to my guesthouse but not before I stop for a small stainless steel tumbler of South Indian coffee. Life is simple and good there.